Farashganj became the first team to qualify for the quarterfinals of the Walton Independence Cup after playing out a 1-1 draw against Muktijoddha Sangsad in their Group B encounter at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday night.
The result saw Farashganj ensure their berth in the last four with four points from two matches. The second-placed team from the group of three will be decided on Sunday when Muktijoddha face Brothers Union.
Farashganj have shown amazing spirit in the season's closing tournament despite having been relegated from the recently concluded Bangladesh Premier League.
They seemingly picked up from where they left off against Brothers, to whom they handed a 2-1 defeat in their tournament opener.
Some of the participating teams may have a shortage of inspiration to play the Independence Cup, but there has been no deficiency in spirit from the Old Dhaka outfit, who have won the tournament once in 2011.
On the pitch however it was Muktijoddha Sangsad who could have taken an early lead had Saikat Mahmud Munna not wasted an opportunity in the fourth minute with only goalkeeper Mamun Alif to beat.
Having survived the scare, Farashganj took the lead in the 25th minute when Mohammad Alamgir, having availing a misplaced pass from the opponents' territory, advanced into the danger zone before easily beating goalkeeper Azad Hossain.
Muktijoddha Sangad hit back in the first minute after resumption as substitute Shah Mohammad Alamgir played a through ball to Amirul Islam, who darted into the box from the left and placed the ball into the far post after goalkeeper Mamun Alif had come off the line.
Afterwards, both of sides fought equally but neither could create any clear-cut chances to post an outright win. However, the draw was good enough for Farashganj to put Muktijoddha Sangsad and Brothers Union in a battle for second.
In the day's other match, Saif Sporting Club kept their hopes of moving into the quarterfinal alive after playing out a goalless draw, their second in a row, against Arambagh.
A second draw in as many matches means Saif SC have two points and must wait for the outcome of the match between Chittagong Abahani and Arambagh, as both Chittagong Abahani and Arambagh have one point each.
If more than two teams finish on equal points, then goal difference will be the deciding factor.
In the match, Arambagh had the upper hand against an unimpressive Saif and the lightweights could have won the match had it not been for the wastefulness of their forwards.